Plant Toxicity & Garden Hazards For Dogs: Pet-Safe Gardening Guide Released

Published February 20, 2024

In light of reports from the ASPCA American Poison Control Center that showed a rise in pet poisoning cases related to accidental plant ingestion, Better Living Magazine has released its new guide to help pet owners identify potential plant and chemical hazards in their homes and find non-toxic alternatives.

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As spring arrives, Better Living Magazine urges readers to carefully research plant species before introducing them to their homes, as many common indoor and outdoor plants are toxic to dogs and cats. Their guide lists rhododendron and oleander as examples, which can cause gastrointestinal issues and heart disease, respectively.

Ingestion of other popular plants can also have lethal consequences for pets, the guide explains: cats who make contact with lilies are at risk for fatal kidney failure, while consumption of even a small number of sago palm seeds often results in severe liver failure for dogs.

To ensure that their pets remain safe, Better Living Magazine recommends that readers use raised beds, hanging baskets, and fencing to deter the animals from accessing planted areas. Readers should also avoid commercial pesticides, bone meal fertilizers, or weed killers with glyphosate, as these substances are harmful to cats and dogs. As an extra precaution, gardeners can also opt for hardy, non-toxic species such as zinnias, petunias, and snapdragons when planning for the growing season, the guide says.

In the event that owners suspect that their pets have ingested a toxic substance, Better Living Magazine says that they should immediately remove any remaining harmful materials from the animal's mouth, use water to dilute the substance, and call their veterinarian or a pet poison hotline for guidance. Pets that show further signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, will require prompt medical care from a professional.

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As an additional preventative measure, gardeners can create designated outdoor play and resting areas for dogs to divert their attention from garden beds, Better Living Magazine advises. Their other guides offer tips on how pet owners can design safe and engaging outdoor spaces for their pets, reflecting their goal of providing readers and their families with advice on healthier living.

Interested parties can learn more by visiting

Better Living Magazine

2101 Heseltine Rd
S4V 3H1

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